Success Stories

Student wins top national honors

Tom Coy, left, and Branden Stewart

Grand Valley State University student Branden Stewart was awarded with the Wayne S. Colvin Fraternal Values Award at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference in St. Louis held February 11-14.
The Colvin Award recognizes an undergraduate fraternity/sorority leader who not only lives the fraternal values, but has incorporated those values into positive change within his/her organization, the fraternity and sorority community and the campus at large. This award, given to one student per year, is considered the highest honor an undergraduate fraternity man or sorority woman can achieve.
Stewart, a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, was nominated for the award by Tom Coy, assistant director of Student Life, and Jesse Koch, fraternity and sorority life graduate assistant. Stewart was recognized for his passionate efforts to push the Grand Valley fraternity and sorority community to live up to the values of their founders.

“Branden understands the importance of holding true to our shared community values as fraternal organizations. His willingness to hold other accountable to these values is what truly sets Branden apart as a leader within our community,” Koch said.
In addition, Stewart was noted for his work with the Greek 101 New Member Education program, a mandatory one-day event for all new fraternity and sorority members. “Branden saw the opportunity to create a dynamic, enriching, and valuable program for new members,” Coy said. “He sought to create a day of dialogue, and peer-facilitated learning, which is exactly what he did.” Having coordinated this once-a-semester program for the past two years, the changes that Stewart has implemented have been seen by the more than 800 students who have attended Greek 101.

Stewart said that he felt honored to be recognized for his efforts. “Receiving this national award says more about the accomplishments we are making as a community than it does about my own success,” Stewart said. “Fraternity and sorority life at Grand Valley is doing truly remarkable things; I'm glad that I could do my part to help these efforts be recognized.”

Stewart is a senior, majoring in public relations, from Plainwell, Mich. He currently is President of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. Stewart is also a member of the Student Senate Finance Committee, Order of Omega and Gamma Sigma Alpha Honor Society.
For more information about the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values, visit For more information about fraternities and sororities at Grand Valley, visit

by Brian J. Bowe

This story was filed with the tags: Awards, Greek Life, Undergraduate Student